Tuesday is World Population Day but concern about our rapid expansion are irrelevant to refugees in Kakuma camps
By Maureen Odiwour
A group of Congolese women riding on boda bodas in what seems like a convoy towards Kakuma Two Zone Four raise their hands high as they ululate.
At their destination in Kakuma Refugee Camp, which is home to more than 100,000 people from different countries, they join other women singing and dancing.
The women are celebrating a new life; a woman from their home country, Democratic Republic of Congo, has just given birth.
One of the elated women, Rahma Nasibu, says: “It is our tradition to celebrate the birth of a child regardless of whether we know the father or not.”
The new mother, a 26-year-old single mother, already has four children, explains Nasibu.
At the refugee camp which was established in 1992, the inhabitants from different countries including Somalia, Sudan, Burundi and Congo feel it is an obligation to have as many children as possible to ‘replace’ family members they lost during conflict.
“Here we can’t advise any woman to control birth because she might have lost everyone in the family during war in her country and feels the family tree might be extinct if she don’t give birth to many children,” says Nasibu, a mother of four.
The Standard met Nafisa Rashid, 33, at one of the free clinics at the camp. Nafisa, an Ethiopian refugee, is pregnant and has low blood pressure.
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